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SiriusXM Inks ‘SmartLess’ Podcast Three-Year Deal Worth $100 Million-Plus

SiriusXM announced a multiyear agreement with SmartLess Media and its three founders — Will Arnett, Jason Bateman and Sean Hayes — encompassing exclusive advertising and distribution rights, content, events and more for their popular flagship podcast “SmartLess” and other shows produced by the company.

SiriusXM’s deal with SmartLess Media will commence late in the summer of 2024. Terms of the pact weren’t disclosed. The three-year agreement is valued at more than $100 million over the term, according to two sources, confirming a Bloomberg report. The SmartLess trio currently have a deal with Amazon, which struck a deal in mid-2021 for exclusive distribution and ad-sales rights to “SmartLess” said to be worth up to $80 million.

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SmartLess Media describes the show hosted by Bateman, Hayes and Arnett as “a podcast that connects and unites people from all walks of life to learn about shared experiences through thoughtful dialogue and organic hilarity.” A regular feature of the podcast is that one of hosts has invited a mystery guest, who is revealed to the other two in each episode.

Under the agreement, SiriusXM will gain access to “extensive” exclusive content for subscribers. That includes early access to new episodes of “SmartLess” and SmartLess Media podcasts “Just Jack & Will,” “Bad Dates” and “Owned,” as well as the opportunity for fans to be in the live audience for special tapings. Additionally, the majority of the “SmartLess” library will be available exclusively to SiriusXM. SiriusXM Media gains exclusive global ad sales rights to the “SmartLess” podcast hosted as well as SmartLess Media’s “Just Jack & Will,” “Bad Dates” and “Owned.”

The award-winning “SmartLess” podcast was launched in July 2020 and regularly ranks among the top five most listened-to podcasts monthly. Guests have included President Joe Biden, Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Greta Gerwig, Idris Elba, Pedro Pascal and Selena Gomez. “SmartLess” is produced by Michael Grant Terry, Bennett Barbakow and Rob Amjärv.

“At SiriusXM, we are proud to be home to the stars, and with Jason, Sean and Will joining us, that statement has never been more true,” said Scott Greenstein, president and chief content officer at SiriusXM. “Over the past several years, we have doubled down on our commitment to podcasting, and with the addition of ‘SmartLess,’ we are strengthening our leadership position in podcasting.”

SmartLess Media joins the lineup of podcasts and media companies represented exclusively by SiriusXM Media, including: “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend” and the complete Team Coco roster; Ashley Flowers’ Audiochuck featuring “Crime Junkie”; and Crooked Media and its hit “Pod Save America.” SiriusXM’s original podcast series include “Office Ladies” and “How Did This Get Made?”

The SmartLess Media deal was brokered by CAA. SmartLess Media was represented in the transaction by Adam Kaller, Tom Hoberman and Ryan Pastorek at Hansen Jacobson; Sam Fischer, Brian Lazarus and Ben Rubinfeld at Ziffren Brittenham; and Shelby Weiser and Robert Offer at Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern.

SEE ALSO: How Will Arnett, Jason Bateman and Sean Hayes’ ‘SmartLess’ Proved Podcasts Can Mean Big Business

Pictured above (l. to r.): Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Sean Hayes in Max docuseries “SmartLess: On the Road”

VIP+ Analysis: Can SiriusXM’s Pivot Really Challenge Spotify?

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